BERLIN – A record-setting Norwegian mountaineer pushed again Sunday towards claims that she may have executed extra to avoid wasting the lifetime of a Pakistani porter who slipped off a slim path close to the height of the world’s most treacherous mountain and died there after a number of hours.

The circumstances of Mohammad Hassan’s July 27 demise on K2, the world’s second-highest peak, sparked ongoing controversy, with two climbers arguing that he may have been saved if all these on the mountain that day had aborted their climb and centered on getting him down safely.

The fallout from Hassan’s demise overshadowed a file established by Norwegian climber Kristin Harila and her Sherpa information, Tenjin. By climbing K2 that day, they grew to become the world’s quickest climbers, scaling the world’s 14 highest mountains in 92 days.

Harila advised The Related Press on Sunday that “in the snowy condition we had up there that day, it wouldn’t be possible to carry him down.”

“I’m sure that if it was possible that we saw a chance to carry him down from there, everyone would have tried that,” she said by Zoom from Norway. “But it was impossible.”

The uproar had been sparked by drone footage showing dozens of climbers pushing past a gravely injured Hassan toward the summit. The path to the peak was crowded on July 27, described as the last day of the season for a possible ascent.

In Pakistan, local authorities in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, which has jurisdiction over K2, formed a five-member committee on Aug. 7 to investigate Hassan’s death. The committee’s mandate noted that it’s crucial to determine the facts after “distressing reports circulating on various social media platforms.”

Investigators will try to determine, among other things, whether more could have been done to save Hassan, said Sajid Hussain, deputy director of the Sports and Tourism department of Gilgit-Baltistan. He told the AP on Sunday that investigators are to submit their findings on Aug. 22.

Hassan, a 27-year-old father of three, was hired by the Pakistan-based expedition company Lela Peak and was assigned to a team of Russian climbers, said company director Anwar Syed.

Asked if she felt the controversy had tainted her record, Harila said “of course,” but did not elaborate. She appeared distraught at times during the interview and said she had received death threats.

“We tried for hours to avoid wasting him and we had been on most likely essentially the most harmful space” of K2, she mentioned including that she and her teammates had been “taking a very, very big risk.”

Harila mentioned Hassan slipped and fell off the slim path round 2:15 a.m. on July 27, dangling on a rope the wrong way up. On the time, Hassan had been second within the line of climbers. Harila mentioned she was eighth and her crew members had been in seventh and ninth place, respectively.

As they tried to drag Hassan onto the trail, an avalanche got here down close to the place her ahead fixing crew was. After 90 minutes of attending to Hassan, Harila and a teammate moved within the course of the summit to verify on the fixing crew, whereas her cameraman, Gabriel, stayed behind with Hassan, she mentioned.

Gabriel shared his oxygen with Hassan, gave him heat water and tried to heat him. She mentioned Gabriel stayed with the porter for two.5 hours however began operating out of oxygen. Gabriel then moved towards the height to satisfy up with Harila’s sherpas who had additional oxygen tanks. At the moment, there have been additionally others attending to Hassan, she mentioned.

When Gabriel arrived on the peak, Harila requested him how Hassan was doing. She mentioned Gabriel advised her that he was “in very bad shape.”

On the way back down, she saw Hassan’s dead body lying on the path.

Harila rejected claims made by Austrian climber Wilhelm Steindl that more would have been done if a Westerner had been hurt on the mountain. Steindl and German climber Philip Flaemig, who shot the drone footage, had abandoned their K2 climb earlier that day because of bad weather.

“We did really try to save him and we would have done just the same if it was me or anyone else that was hanging upside down there,” she said. “We couldn’t have done anything more.”

Harila said Hassan didn’t seem to have proper gear or training as a high-altitude porter and that it appeared to have been his first ascent.

“It was a very tragic accident that happened on K2 that day,” Harila said. “And we feel so sorry for Hassan himself and for his family, his wife and his kids and his mother.”

Hussain, the regional official, mentioned investigators would have a look at the porter’s gear and coaching. They can even overview climate circumstances on July 27, together with avalanches, and look at the actions of the expedition firm that employed Hassan.

The investigators are questioning porters and Sherpa guides, he mentioned, although it was not clear if international climbers can be interviewed as effectively. The crew has collected related paperwork from authorities departments and personal firms concerned in K2 ascent. Hussain mentioned the investigators had been additionally visiting the K2 base camp and different related places.

Steindl advised the AP on Saturday that he felt extra may have been executed to avoid wasting Hassan. “Everyone would have had to turn back to bring the injured person back down to the valley.”

“I don’t want to kind of directly blame anybody,” Steindl mentioned. “I’m just saying there was no rescue operation initiated and that’s really very, very tragic because that’s actually the most normal thing one would do in a situation like that.”

In Hassan’s house village of Tisar, pals and neighbors visited the household, providing prayers of condolence.

A childhood good friend, Basharat Hussain, mentioned Hassan had been decided to offer alternatives for his kids that he by no means had, together with an training.

“I think this is the most dehumanizing event in my life,” he mentioned, including that he hopes “it will not happen in the future.”

Steindl visited Hassan’s household and arrange a crowd-funding marketing campaign. After 4 days, donations reached greater than 125,000 euros (simply over $137,000).


Related Press journalist Zarar Khan contributed to this story from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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